Native American stories can and do involve a drum beat, dancing, and sign language. None of those can be done correctly in There at this time. Each legend is always told exactly the same way by the tribe's story tellers. This legend is a synopsis of how this legend is always told by a good friend of mine in Colorado. All stories and legends have a message of how to live the right way and walk the Red Path way weaved in to the story line.
Ant Woman and Bear Legend
When the earth and all things upon it were created, there was only darkness. The Ant people were being eaten by Bear and it was feared they will all be eaten. The ants go to the smartest ant (Ant Woman) and seek her help for their very lives.
Ant Woman prays and fasts for 3 days and then says she will go to Creator to ask for light. She meets Bear on way to see Creator. Bear demands to know where she is going and Ant Woman tells him why she will speak to Creator. Bear says, "I will come too. I want to keep the dark as it is."
Creator listens to Ant Woman pleading for her people. Bear then explains why there is no need for Ant Woman's people to have light. Creator says a Dance contest will be held. The best dancer between Ant Woman and Bear will get what they want.
A huge feast is planned -- everyone is invited. (They all gather from the 4 corners -- the winged, and 4-legged, and 2-legged)
Ant Woman continues praying and fasting (tightens belt). Bear feasts. He is so sure he will win the dance contest he does not worry. He then sleeps and when he wakes he eats more.
The contest is held. Ant Woman faces Creator and those watching and says, "I, Ant Woman, dance for light." Bear says, "I, Bear, dance for darkness to remain."
Ant Woman dances very well, but so does Bear. They both spin and twirl in intricate patterns for hours and stop dancing only when the drums stop. The Creator cannot decide a winner and says, "Ant Woman and Bear will dance again tomorrow."
Ant Woman continues praying and fasting (She tightens belt for she is growing weak from hunger). Bear feasts and cheerfully stuffs himself full of the good food laid out.
Contest is held. Ant Woman faces Creator and says, "I, Ant Woman, dance for light." Bear says, "I, Bear, dance for darkness to remain."
Both Ant Woman and Bear dance and dance, spinning and dipping until the drums stop after several hours. But still Creator cannot decide winner and says there will be one more day of dancing to see who is the best.
Ant woman continues praying and fasting (She again tightens belt to stop the hunger pangs) .. Bear gorges himself on the food saying he must keep up his strength to dance. Then throws himself down for a long nap.
Contest held. Ant Woman faces Creator and says, "I, Ant Woman, dance for light." Bear says, "I, Bear, dance for darkness to remain."
Bear begins dancing but soon he staggers around from all the food he has eaten and finally he falls down, groaning. Ant woman, although very weak from fasting, dances the best she has ever danced and wins the contest.
Then the Creator said, "I love all of my children. I cannot give all to one and not the other and divides time into day and night. Creator explains to all that during day, ants can gather food for themselves and their children and can escape if bear approaches. Bear will hunt at night.
Even today you see the effects from Ant Woman saving her people.
Bear still gorges self -- and walks as if too stuffed. Bears hunts mostly at night.
Ants come out in the day light and busy themselves gathering food until it grows dark. And now you know why Ants have very narrow waists.
It appears the Ant People still celebrate what Ant Woman accomplished for them by lifting the best dancer ant high into the air after the dance contest was held!